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Sep 18, 9:42 AM EDT

Nigerian troops mark rare victory over extremists

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigerian troops celebrated victory against Islamic extremists in which scores of militants were killed near the strategic northeast city of Maiduguri.

Residents cheered as the troops paraded armored cars and vehicles with anti-aircraft weapons that were recaptured from the Boko Haram insurgents, who had spray-painted the vehicles with "There is no God but Allah."

Farmer Abu'ar Yale said the military fought off an attack Wednesday by hundreds of extremists. Konduga is 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital and birthplace of Boko Haram.

Civilian defense leader Bashir Abbas said the militants attacked in three waves over Tuesday and Wednesday and that soldiers killed about 200 insurgents.

In recent weeks Boko Haram has seized several northeastern towns, declared an Islamic caliphate and said Maiduguri is their next target.

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